If you’re renting, you’ll know that it’s your landlord’s responsibility to ensure your rental property is maintained in good repair. Your landlord must also respond promptly if you make a request for non-urgent repairs.
Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, a non-urgent repair is any repair that falls outside the definition of an urgent repair. Urgent repairs include:
- a burst water service
- a blocked or broken toilet system
- a serious roof leak
- a gas leak
- a dangerous electrical fault
- flooding or serious flood damage
- serious storm or fire damage
- failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by a landlord or agent for hot water, water, cooking, heating, or laundering
- failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
- any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
- an appliance, fitting or fixture that is not working properly and causes a substantial amount of water to be wasted
- a serious fault in a lift or staircase
Tenants can sometimes be reluctant to notify their landlord or property manager of minor repair or maintenance issues that fall outside the definition of an urgent repair. Many believe that “out of sight, out of mind” is the best way for a smart tenant to approach a tenancy and worry that asking for minor fixes may lead to a rent hike the next time the rent is reviewed.
In our experience, that’s not the case – most landlords want to know about maintenance issues as soon as they arise. Owning an investment property is a significant financial investment, and part of protecting that investment is ensuring that small maintenance and repair jobs are taken care of before they become bigger issues.
A small problem like a leaking shower base or sink that’s not properly sealed can be more than an inconvenience for a tenant – unless addressed, these minor problems can mean that water and moisture is leaking into floors, plaster and skirting boards over time, damaging the landlord’s investment and leading to expensive future repairs.
If you become aware of a maintenance issue at your rental, you should let your property manager know straight away. A phone call is usually the best way to explain the issue and its severity; at Greg Hocking, we often ask that tenants put their requests in writing and include some photos of the problem so that we can review it and share with the landlord if appropriate. The more information we have, the better placed we are to send the right tradesperson out to address the issue promptly and fix it on the first visit.
Our experienced property managers take a proactive and balanced approach to managing repair requests. Looking for small maintenance issues that may have gone unnoticed is one of the aspects we focus on during our thorough routine inspections – we believe that staying on top of this ensures a hassle-free experience for both landlords and tenants.
Contact your local Greg Hocking office today for more information about our industry-leading approach to property management.